[Scientific Reports] Label-free and real-time monitoring of single cell attachment on template-strip
Leveraging microfluidics and nano-plasmonics, we present in this paper a new method employing a micro-nano-device that is capable of monitoring the dynamic cell-substrate attachment process at single cell level in real time without labeling. The micro-nano-device essentially has a gold thin film as the substrate perforated with periodic, near-cm2-area, template-stripped nano-holes, which generate plasmonic extraordinary optical transmission (EOT) with a high sensitivity to refractive index changes at the metal-dielectric interface. Using this device, we successfully demonstrated label-free and real-time monitoring of the dynamic cell attachment process for single mouse embryonic stem cell (C3H10) and human tumor cell (HeLa) by collecting EOT spectrum data during 3-hour on-chip culture. We further collected the EOT spectral shift data at the start and end points of measurement during 3-hour on-chip culture for 50 C3H10 and 50 HeLa cells, respectively. The experiment results show that the single cell attachment process of both HeLa and C3H10 cells follow the logistic retarded growth model, but with different kinetic parameters. Variations in spectral shift during the same culture period across single cells present new evidence for cell heterogeneity. The micro-nano-device provides a new, label-free, real-time, and sensitive, platform to investigate the cell adhesion kinetics at single cell level.
Long Tu, Xuzhou Li, Shengtai Bian, Yingting Yu, Junxiang Li, Liang Huang, Peng Liu, Qiong Wu & Wenhui Wang Scientific Reports 7, Article number: 11020 (2017) doi:10.1038/s41598-017-11383-x